My eight-year-old grandson sat beside me on the settee at home and, on watching Friday’s video, asked if Jill’s new bull calf could be named after him. So the calf’s name is now Sam-Bull Shetland.
Later, a panicked Jill Shetland galloped through Hoo Brook Pasture gate and down the corridor, coming to a dead-stop at North Riverside Pasture gate. She had a quick look into the pasture before walking slowly back along the corridor stock fence, stopping now and again to peer intently into the swamp. I guessed that she had lost her calf.
A few minutes later, and breaking into a spirited gallop, Jill headed resolutely for Hoo Brook Pasture; I felt her slipstream as she passed me standing at the bottom of the corral ramp. We both searched Hoo Brook Pasture, which is thick with tall and powerful stinging nettles, alder saplings and large spear thistle bushes. There are many secluded places for a little new-born calf to hide or sleep here. We didn’t find Sam-Bull Shetland. As Jill desperately and repeatedly called to her calf, I felt apprehensive. I reassured myself with the thought that the calf was most likely sleeping safely somewhere close by.
Suddenly, Jill reared her head and gave out a piercing shriek. She galloped towards the corridor again. I followed, but at a slower pace. She was standing at the stock fence, close to the North Riverside Pasture gate, looking intently into the Swamp. I scanned the area with binoculars, but saw no sign of the calf. Many animal tracks crisscrossed the ground on the Swamp side of the gate, but there was no definitive signs of a little calf having passed this way recently. I made my way along the line of Jill’s unwavering stare. Approximately fifty metres swam-side of the stock fence, I found the calf fast asleep on a soft grassy bed surrounded by thistles, blissfully unaware of the anxiety he was causing. I woke the little fella, but he was not at all in the mood to re-join his mother; he was happy enough on his warm bed, thank you very much! I lifted him to his feet and pushed the reluctant animal through luxuriant vegetation and finally under the barbed wired stock fence to the waiting Jill; even then, he wanted to go back to his cosy Swamp sleeping spot. This little bull has a pleasant nature, an endearing independence of character and spirit, and is a very good namesake for my grandson.
A video takes over from here: